To enable further growth, PVNED transformed their IT ecosystem from a point-to-point landscape to a service oriented architecture based on a best of breed strategy. The eMagiz Message Bus is implemented to integrate the new customer portal with the back-end systems of PVNED and control the managed file transfer with 3rd parties. PVNED also uses eMagiz within a pilot project to explore the business case of an innovative energy saving concept based on real-time information. PVNED independently implemented a message bus architecture for this pilot.
PVNED is a fast growing, independent service provider in the Dutch and Belgian energy market. IT systems and data management services are essential assets for PVNED to provide adequate services to their customers. The primary processes are handled and administered in a standard energy data management system. However this system covers the end-to-end business processes, extending the system to differentiating processes and innovative customer concepts was difficult and too costly.
As a result of the growth of PVNED, several point-to-point integrations were made to prevent rekeying of data. The amount of scripts was growing and the overview of the IT ecosystem was decreasing and there was limited logging available. Therefore modernization and re-design of their IT ecosystem was necessary to create a platform for future growth.
PVNED selected the Mendix application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) for the development of a customer portal. PVNED also explored frameworks to create visibility within their integration architecture. An Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) perfectly fits in PVNED’s strategy to implement a best of breed IT strategy, matching the principles of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
ESB Selection & Proof of Concept (PoC)
eMagiz was invited for a PoC next to Microsoft BizTalk and WSO2. Next to generic ESB capabilities and –features, the requirements of PVNED were ease of use in terms of required coding skills, the learning curve of the technology and the ability to do implementations without third parties. Within a 3 days PoC, Remco de Kruijk, data analyst of PVNED, deployed the eMagiz Message Bus and modeled integration flows with HTTP REST XML, CSV file interfacing and SOAP XML.
“We’ve chosen for eMagiz because their service bus concept removes the ‘back-box perception’ with visual models, integrated monitoring statistics and centralized management tools. Even my colleagues with a business background understand what’s happening within the message bus. It’s great that we all can check the health of the ecosystem via the iPaaS and don’t have to log-in to the servers to check the log files.” – Remco de Kruijk
Next to the development of the new customer portal, the integration consultants of CAPE Groep helped PVNED to establish a scalable and future proof integration architecture. Samet Kaya, integration consultant of CAPE Groep, about the implementation:
“Building a proper integration architecture with eMagiz for PVNED was really comfortable. PVNED’s vision on implementing a message bus, for visibility and manageability in their integration architecture is inspiring and innovative. We worked side by side on this amazing project, with an agile approach and reaching our goal of 100% fit in PVNED’s interests.”
The first sprint included the transport, transformation and validation of measurement data in between the back-end system and the customer portal. This includes position data, bulk measurements, forecasts and system notifications. The next sprint added several integrations with customers and 3rd parties via FTP, SFTP and SOAP XML to centralize external messaging.
“The collaboration with CAPE Groep was very pleasant. We captured the integration requirements ourselves within the iPaaS. The intake helped us to explore multiple integration scenarios during the design workshop and implement a scalable and future proof integration architecture. The Agile SCRUM project approach delivered project success and offered us the flexibility to deliver the Message Bus parallel to the development of the customer portal.” – Remco de Kruijk
Pilot environment for strategic customer
Next to the transformation of the IT ecosystem, eMagiz offered PVNED the opportunity to use the integration technology for a pilot with one of their strategic customers. Within this pilot, PVNED was exploring an innovative concept for energy optimization and cost reduction using real-time information. Several data sources (e.g. energy balance, energy price, weather conditions) are used to control greenhouse operations based on an intelligent decision model. eMagiz is included in this pilot to integrate a HTTP REST feed and CSV exports of a file system with a decision model via SOAP XML Web Services. eMagiz orchestrates all messaging processes. Based on the return values of the decision model, eMagiz sends instructions to a by PVNED custom build Siemens OPC Server interface, which is installed on-premises at the greenhouse facility.
“With the limited experience from the Proof of Concept I managed to design, model and implement a message bus architecture with several interfaces on my own. My background in software integration and conceptual knowledge about enterprise integration patterns certainly helped me get acquainted with the eMagiz technology quickly, but my expectations about the learning curve came out in a positive way. I learned a lot about distributing eMagiz connectors within remote environments and extending the eMagiz run-time with a custom interface to connect with OPC software of Siemens. The pilot results are coming in as we speak. It is very nice to see that we are able to combine real-time information and our domain knowledge and create this innovative concept for our customer.” – Remco de Kruijk
PVNED is an independent service provider in the Dutch and Belgian energy market. PVNED enables utilities and non-utilities to access the energy markets, by executing the program-responsibility/access-responsibility for an aggregated portfolio. Customers include major European utilities, heavy industrial energy consumers, decentralized generators and waste-to-energy producers. For more information, please visit www.pvned.eu